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This title uncovers the politics of nostalgia and madness inherent in the Arabic novel. The Arabic novel has taken shape in the intercultural networks of exchange between East and West, past and present. Wen-chin Ouyang shows how this has created a politics of nostalgia which can be traced to discourses on aesthetics, ethics and politics relevant to cultural and literary transformations of the Arabic speaking world in the 19th and 20th centuries. It explores the work of novelists including Naguib Mahfouz, 'Abd al-Khaliq al-Rikabi, Jamal al-Ghitani, Ben Salem Himmich, Ali Mubarak, Adonis, Mahmoud Darwish and Nizar Qabbani. It shows madness to be an expression of the anxiety surrounding the Arabic novel's search for form, and Arab intellectuals' disappointment in the nation-state and modernisation.